CATFISHING ON THE OHIO RIVER BY DOWNTOWN CINCINNATI
10-22 UPDATE : This was my last fishing trip of 2013. My brother and I left Fredrick’s ramp at 08:35. It was very cold and a thin layer of fog on the water as we headed for the Ohio River. We got to our 1st spot above the rail road bridge at Ludlow at 09:25. I had a bite at 09:30, cleaned off my vanilla soaked shrimp. 09:50 hooked a 5 pound 23 inch Channel catfish that hit that same type bait.
10:45 we got set up below the bridge on the Ky. Side of the river. No bites there at all so we moved down river. 11:25 we put our lines in the water at the 472.8 marker on the Ohio side. 11:30 hard bite missed the fish. 11:45 caught a 6.5 pound 23 inch Channel cat that liked the raw shrimp, for I had used up the small amount of the vanilla shrimp. 11:55 boat the last fish of the day. This one was a 5.5 pound 23 inch Channel Catfish that also hit the shrimp. I had a couple more taps but that was it. The wind started kicking up stronger and was blowing up river.
All my action was on my dead line; my bobber rig did not even get a tap. My brother did get a couple of taps with his suspended lines off the side of the boat. He did have some chunks of thawed Shad but only got 1 tap with it. Shrimp was the bait they liked and that is what worked for me.
12:50 we called it a day and headed back to the ramp. We got the boat on the trailer and headed for his house. There we put the boat in his garage for the winter. Hopefully next season we will have better results than this past year.
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Oct 14th. First trip with my 16ft boat, same as last trip on Oct. 1st.SKUNKED! My brother and I left Fredrick’s at 08:20, lines it the water at the Breakers at 09:00. We had to use our back up baits for there were no shad at the ramp. We tried 5 different spots; same story at each one; just taps no real bites! All the baits got taps that cleaned off bait! Weather wise it was a perfect day on the river. We headed back to the ramp at 13:15, another frustrating trip.
I hope to get a few more trips in before hanging it up for this year. This has been the worst fishing ever from a boat, if it is like this next year; I might just hang it up and go back to bank fishing.
Sept-27 No bait fish at the ramp so had to use my back up baits. I left the Cincinnati Public Landing ramp at 08:30 headed up river. I stopped just above the brakers at the Serpentine Wall at 08:40. There was a mild down river breeze and a little current. 08:50 I caught my biggest catfish of this year, 9.5 pounds 28 inch channel cat. The bait was a FROG oil soaked slice of beef. The bobber rig went down as I was measuring out that catfish, this channel cat was a little smaller. It checked out at 24 inches and 5.5 pounds. 10:10 I had another catfish on right next to the boat, as I was getting ready to reach for the dip net, it got off. I never did see the fish; but it was a decent fish from the pull it had put on the rod.
10:50 I was set up at my favorite spot HOOTERS. 10:58 bobber rod got hit, missed the fish. I had raw Shrimp on that hook. 11:25 I boated a 6.5 pound 22 inch Channel cat that also like the raw shrimp. I had a number of bites with Red Hot Smokies, but they were able to clean off the hook every time.
12:30 I called it a day and headed back to the ramp. The 9.9 h.p. motor worked just great, and had a good amount of action for a change. It was about the best trip of this season.
MY BIGGEST fish of the 2013 a 9.5 pound Channel Cat
Sept 13th. I met my brother at Fredrick’s Landing for a shake down trip in his boat. We headed to the Ohio about 08:10, got to our 1st. spot at 08:40. It took a little time for me to get use to the feel of the throttle and response of the wheel as I ran the boat.
I was getting hard taps on my seasoned strip of beef, nothing on the cut skipjack. I hooked a decent fish on the beef strip, a Channel Cat. The fish measured out at 24 inches and 6 1/2 pounds. I had some more taps but no solid bites.
We went back up river above the Bromley Boat Club on the Ohio side, lines in the water 10:15. No bites or taps there so headed up the Water Front in Covington. The wind had shifted and was blowing hard up river, my brother finally got a couple of hard taps on the cut bait fish.
We called it a day and headed back to the ramp at 12:10. There I had to learn how to power the boat on his trailer and then how to secure it once we got to the top of the ramp so he could drive it home. It is still a little frustrating spending that much effort just for 1 catfish.
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CATFISH and OTHER GUIDES
Sept 9th. I left Fredrick’s Landing at 08:20 heading for the Ohio River. My 1st. spot was below Joe’s Crab Shack on the Ky. side. I got my lines in the water at 09:05 I had to use my back up baits of shrimp & seasoned raw beef strips for there were no Shad at the ramp.09:30 I caught a small 14 inch Blue Cat on my bobber rig. It hit my seasoned beef strip, no more bites there so I moved.
My next spot was just above HOOTERS at 10:15. There was a slight up river breeze that helped cool me off. 10:25 I had 2 hard bites at the very same time, but missed both of the fish. 11:05 I hooked a 23 inch 5 ½ pound Channel Cat on a dead line rig. The raw shrimp is what it liked. 11:15 another small 13 inch Blue Cat on the bobber rig; that hit the seasoned beef strip. 11:30 a 13 inch Channel Cat was hooked on the middle dead line rig that liked the raw Shrimp. 11:40 the middle dead line rod got hammered, this Channel Cat was also 23 inches, it was just 5 pounds. This fish also hit the raw shrimp, so both baits worked.
11:55 it was getting too hot for me so called it a day. I am not sure if there ARE any catfish left in the river around Cincinnati that are bigger than 5-6 pounds! ALL the fish were released back to fight another day. I least boated the most Cats for a trip so far this year, and had some other bites.
Sept.-3rd I went out with my brother in his boat, left Fredrick’s at 07:00. We got down to the barge tie up area by the Mill Creek at 07:20. No bites there in an hour so we moved downriver about a ¼ of a mile. We were getting hard taps that cleaned off the cut bait. We suspected it might have been Striper bites.
09:30 went back mid-way of the barges to fish. 09:45 I hook first channel cat of the day, took a photo then returned it to the river. We were getting hard bites but fish did not stay with it. Once again we felt the Stripers were causing the bites. 10:40 I boated the 2nd Channel cat it was about the same size. I did not get to weight or measure the fish; however we said they were around 6 pounds each.
Then about 11:00 a tug boat came over very quickly to move some barges, so we had to get our lines in and get the anchor up to move. That is when things got frustrating; the anchor was hung up. So we tried to go up river to free it, then the anchor rope got hung up in the prop! I was finally able to get the rope out of the prop and somehow the anchor was also free! So we did were finally able to leave the area. By this time my brother was so frustrated he decided just to head back to the ramp. All the bites were on thawed Skipjack or Shad. It was a perfect weather day to be on the river, and we did have some action.
August 20th. I had my best day of catching catfish for this year. I left Frerick’s Landing at 07:55 and went to the Ohio River to wet my lines. 1st spot no bites in 30 minutes so moved up to Joe’s Crab Shack area. At 09:32 reel clicker sounded off but fish did not stay with it. Re-baited and cast to the same area, no sooner had it was in the water, hooked a fish. It was a Channel Cat that put up a good fight in the current. It was 5 ½ pounds and 23 inches. It like the shrimp soaked with vanilla extract. I had a couple more bites then they stopped. 3rd spot was just above Hooters, rod in the water at10:30. My outside rod got hammered at 10:35; it took some time to boat this fish. As I was fighting this fish my center rod took off, and I hooked that fish. I really had my hands full trying to get those fighting fish into the dip net by myself. The first fish was 27 inches and 7½ pounds, the 2nd one was 26 inches 7¾ pounds.
Re-baited with the soaked shrimp and it was hit, this small channel got off just a few feet from the boat. I had several bites that cleaned off the shrimp. 11:05 caught the last fish of the day. This channel cat was 5 pounds and 23 inches.
So the back up bait of Shrimp worked very well, soaked or raw. All the bites were on dead line, never touched my bobber rig. I am now a little more eager to get back on the river with my boat. No monsters but, decent size and had lots of bites that had my hart jumping. I packed it in and headed back to the ramp at 11:55 it was getting too hot for me. I returned all the fish back to the river so they can fight another day.
Aug 13th. I met my fishing friend at 08:30 then off to Fredrick’s ramp. Got the boat underway at 08:55, when we hit the Ohio River it was muddy and fast current. Our 1st spot was just below Joe’s Crab Shack. We got our lines in the water at 09:30.
No bites so move in towards the eddy current at 10:10. I got a strong tap at 10:20 but missed the fish. My friend got a bite on his "red hot smokie", he missed it as well.
The 3rd. spot was just above Hooter’s, we tried different baits but never go a tap! Nice weather but called it a day at 12:30 to start the long slow trip back to the ramp. A frustrating trip, hopefully the river will get in shape some time soon.
Talked with some guys that are divers that work on the river, they informed up they have seen the Asian Carp up at Point Pleasant, Ohio. That means these fish are certainly in the Markland pool!!
Aug. 8th. UPDATE I was so eager to finally to get back on the river that I went on a Sunday. I left Fredrick’s ramp at 08:15 and headed to the Ohio then to the West side of Cincinnati. With my 6 h.p. motor I got to my first spot at 09:20. I had 3 rods out with thawed creek chubs for bait.
2 guys came by drift fishing, they boated a 12 pound blue cat at 09:30 There bait was a bunch of gizzard shad they netted up in the Mill Creek. I stayed there for an hour NO bites. The 2 guys drifted by closer to the bank they got a 7 pound stripper on the shad. 10:20 I pulled my anchor and headed up river.
Got to my favorite spot at 10:50 noticed the boat traffic really had picked up. 11:00 hard bite on my bobber rig, hooked a decent fish. This was channel cat of 7.5 pounds 26 inches long. He hit a chunk of “red hot smokies”. I had 2 more hard bites on the bobber rig, missed them both. Not sure how they tore off chunks of the smokie without getting hooked on the treble hook.
The heavy pleasure boat had my small boat in constant rocking, so called it a day at 12:00 and headed back to Fredrick’s. Weather was perfect, some current and clear water. Only my 2nd serious fishing trip this year so this was my biggest catfish so far this season. I intend to get more trips in now that the river has settled down.
Since I was going to The Mill Creek I paid the $5 to put my boat in at the Cincinnati PUBLIC Landing. Another guy was going to get fresh shad at the Anderson Ferry area then back to the Mill Creek as well. I got to the Mill Creek around 08:20just below the sewer outlet. No bites so moved up to the OUTLET at 09:20. A tow boat came in to move a barge so I had to move. Since no action there I headed up to HOOTERS.
I got my lines in the water there at 10:35 a nice up river breeze helped me from getting too hot. 10:45 I got some taps on the thawed Skipjack, but did not run with the bait. 11:15 got taps on the chilli seasoned chicken breast. Finally at 11:20 I hooked my 1st. catfish of this year! A very small Channel catfish,10 ounces & 11 inches. I had other taps on that same bait. I packed it in at 12:00 and headed back to the ramp.
The guy that had the fresh Shad did fish the Mill Creek area just a little more to the Channel. He & his friend did not catch anything at all. He said the did have a few bites but that was it. I am not sure when I will be going out again. It seems to be getting more & more a chore than enjoyment loading the boat etc. Maybe if and when I catch some decent size fish then I will enjoy fishing again.
June 12th.I left Fredrick's Landing at 09:30 and slowly motored down the Licking River. My Grand daughter was watching the fish finder to spot any fish along the way. We reached the Ohio 10:00 ,checked out the piers of the Central & L&N bridges not 1 fish. Got our lines in the water just below Joe's crab shack on the KY. side. After 25 mins. pulled the anchor and moved. 2nd spot was above and out side of HOOTERS. 2 rods were out stayed about 40 mins. NO bites at all. I did see 1 commercial fishing boat head down river while we were there. 3rd. spot was below the breakers off the Serpentine Wall. The current was strong at all those spots. While there I saw another large John boat getting out of the river at the Public landing ramp. I did not see any rod holders on the boat so I suspect another commercial fishing boat.
We then headed back up the Licking and Fredricks. We did stop 1 time when my grand daughter spotted a fish on the fish finder. NO bite there either so called it a day. I am not sure if there are any catfish around , next trip I will have to try the Mill Creek area.
5-31 UPDATE: This shake down trip was no fun all! I put my old 9.9 on the boat and use checking out the fish finder and transducer I got over the winter. The way I attached the transducer was about the same that worked before. It took several pulls to get the motor fired up, once it did I let it warm up for a few minutes. I have had BAD experiences with motors dying as I was going back to Fredrick’s ramp. It is a 4 mile run from the Ohio to Fredrick’s so I am gun shy about pushing my luck.
I headed for the Ohio and about a half mile the transducer came off the boat, I did get it back into the boat. Now just have to figure out a better way to make sure it does not come off in the future. I headed back to the ramp area just to be sure I would not have any trouble restarting the motor. I killer the motor about 40 feet from the ramp then tried to fire it up. No GO! Paddled the boat to the ramp and rested for about 5 minutes. After several more pulls it fired up again, I then went up the Licking about a mile. Motor was running o.k.; so I stopped across from the ramp area and fished for about 20 minutes. I then realized I left my cell phone in the car, so back to the ramp again. Got my cell phone turned it on LOW BATTERY! No way I was going out on the Ohio River without the phone working.
I pulled the boat out and headed home. My plan then was just to put my 6 h.p. motor on and go back to Fredricks Landing. When I did get the motor changed out the wind was kicking up so figured it was no going to be fun fighting white cap on the OHIO so called it a day.
May 25th. I left Fredrick’s Landing’s ramp at 09:35 for my shake down trip. The wind was blowing from the North, right up the river. I took my time to be sure my 6 h. p. motor was working as it should. The Licking was color up but no current. When I reached the Ohio River it was clear but has a strong current. I then just headed to my favorite spot HOOTER’S to fish.
I got my 3 lines in the river at 10:25. The wind was gusting very hard at times, blowing across the river. 10:40 I got my 2nd hard bite but the fish dropped it. I had 4 bites or hard taps, all on seasoned chicken breast. Nothing tapped the thawed shad, seasoned winners, or the red hot smokies. I called it a day at 11:30 due to the wind and chill.
Learned I used up 1.5 gallons of gas just on getting to and from Hooter’s. So figure I will have to fill up to 6 gallons when I go the Mill Creek to fish.
April 2nd: This morning I learned that the automatic parking gate is operating full time at the Cincinnati Public Landing!! The miminum charge is $5 no matter how little time you drive a car or truck onto the place. If there is a REDS noon time baseball game expect to kick in $10 to lauch a boat. So the best BANK fishing spot for miles on the Ohio side around downtown is basically no longer FREE. So another bank fishing spot is removed from folks to fish, just forcing folks to just go to a pay lake instead. Folks that use the ramp to launch their boats or kayaks now will have consider if it is still worth launching there or at other ramps. At least the other ramps can be used even it the river is over 28 ft. and have docks to tie up your boat. Last year Fredrick's Landing charge $50 for the car & boat tag for the whole year to park & lauch a boat. To the best of my knowledge Tanners & New Richmond are still FREE. Just a shame for not only does it mess up my launching my boat I used to go over there to check out if the Skipjacks were active. No way am I going to pay $5 a pop to do that anymore. I now have to wonder what is the best way get my boat in the river to catfish. It takes at least 20 minutes to motor from Fredrick's down to the Ohio River. Just not happy about any of this at all!
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